Health experts call for reopening of all schools – Times of India

New Delhi: The Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), an association of the country’s top public health experts, has strongly supported the reopening of all schools in the country.

It issued an adviser saying the risk involved in resuming academic activities far outweighed the risks involved, and that the government would not have to wait for children to be vaccinated to resume classes.

IAPSM President Dr Sunila Garg told TOI that even pre-school classes should be resumed. “Many states, for example Delhi, are giving priority to opening schools for older children. There is no logic behind this. If at all, the evidence shows, the risk of serious infection in young children is the lowest and so we should give priority to opening pre-school and primary classes first, ”he said.

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IAPSM has shared a copy of its recommendation on reopening schools with the Union Ministry of Health, Indian Council of Medical Research, Policy Commission and the Department of Education for necessary action.

There are two main concerns about sending children to school. Firstly, children are being infected by SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes Covid-1 causes and is at risk of fatal infections, and secondly, children spread the infection to other family members, especially the elderly, in the adolescent state.

“Data from Indian states, including the latest and fourth national sero surveys, show that children already have a similar or even higher rate of Covid-1 infection than adults (mostly asymptomatic and with a lower to moderate to severe disease rate). ”Says the adviser.

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The expert team cited reports of reopening of schools in 15 countries and the Gevid of the Covid-1 cases on the risk of spreading the disease among family members. “Only three countries have noticed an increase in infections due to the reopening of schools. However, this geometry has not been scientifically proven to be associated with school attendance, ”the adviser says.

Schools have been closed in most parts of the country for more than a year due to the widespread case of Covid-1 of. Chandrakant Laharia, a public health expert and co-author of the IAPSM advisory, says it is causing serious problems for children’s physical and mental well-being. “Not all children have mobiles and laptops to go to virtual classes. Also, this is not a long-term solution. We must open schools, ”Lahariya said.

While the positivity rate in Delhi is less than 0.1%, states like Maharashtra and Kerala continue to have high positivity rates. Dr La Laharia said that if at all, local epidemiology could be considered to close schools in certain areas to prevent the spread of the disease in the future.

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The protections offered by IAPSM during school reopening include proper ventilation in the classroom, avoiding whole school morning gatherings, and training teachers to detect symptoms of shortness of breath. The expert team also recommended linking schools to local health facilities or strengthening school health programs.

Regarding the need for vaccination in children, IAPSM says there is no evidence that vaccination is essential for children. “Schools are open in more than 155 countries, but no country in the world has vaccinated children under the age of 12. The risk of moderate to severe disease in children is already very low, ”says IAPSM.

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